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Portage

A brackish marsh best viewed from Quartermaster Drive hides behind the Portage store.  The star attraction here consists of Virginia Rails that respond consistently to a tape of their calls.  Near-dawn makes the best time to find the rails.  Many wrens, woodpeckers, flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers and sparrows utilize the woods on the western side of the marsh in migration and in winter.  A small collection of snags here provides nesting sites for chickadees, wrens and other birds.

The view of the inner harbor of Quartermaster Harbor at Portage reveals one of the best spots to find Ruddy Ducks around the island.  Many scoters, goldeneye and Bufflehead show up here as well.  Rarely, Sanderling or Western Sandpiper join the Killdeer feeding in the mud. 

To view the Quartermaster Harbor side of Portage, one can park along Tramp Harbor or take the short crossroad along the south side of the old store through to the Quartermaster Harbor side.  A gravel parking strip exists along the harbor side of Quartermaster Drive.  Note the Quartermaster Harbor Important Bird Area interpretive sign.


From Birds of Vashon Island by Ed Swan, Vashon birding guide 206-463-7976